The “bomb cyclone” cold spell that hit New York City this winter worsened what was already the biggest challenge to NYCHA and public housing across the country—significant delayed maintenance due to insufficient funding. The outages our residents experience are a symptom of the federal government’s disinvestment, a problem decades in the making: NYCHA has suffered a $3 billion loss in federal funding since 2001. (For information on how NYCHA handled heat and hot water emergencies, see page 4).
This is why Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent $200 million commitment to replace aging boilers and upgrade heating systems at 20 developments with chronic heating outages is so important. At a time when the Authority is faced with $17 billion in capital needs and continued threats of cuts from the federal government, the Mayor’s financial support is critical and invaluable.
This winter is also a period of transition. Michael Kelly, our General Manager (GM) for the past three years, left NYCHA in February for a new opportunity. During his time as GM, the Authority improved customer service, modernized and streamlined business processes, and began our transformation into a green and sustainable organization. For instance, average repair wait time decreased from 14 days to 5 days; we have delivered on many of our FEMA-funded Sandy projects; and we launched our first digital tool, the MyNYCHA app. NYCHA is grateful for Michael’s deep industry knowledge and commitment to improving the lives of the 1 in 14 New Yorkers who call NYCHA home.
We are excited to welcome Vito Mustaciuolo, appointed as NYCHA’s new Acting General Manager by Mayor de Blasio, effective February 22. Vito has a long and successful history of advocating for tenants. His more than 30 years of experience at HPD will be vital as we implement broader reforms to strengthen public housing. Together, we’ll continue to strengthen public housing and be a better landlord. I remain committed to the fight to improve public housing for you, our residents, and for the next generation of New Yorkers who will call NYCHA home.
Chair and CEO